Showing posts tagged as "kelp forest"
A days-old baby swell shark is on exhibit in our Kelp Forest. The green-eyed shark is just one of many baby swells that regularly hatch inside the bustling exhibit.
It’s a lucky visitor that gets to see a baby or even an adult; they’re a big hit when they appear during the feeding show. This small (up to three feet), harmless and well-camouflaged shark prefers to hide in rocky crevices during the day, and feeds at night.
We often move young swells from the Kelp Forest to the small exhibits at the nearby touch pool, allowing visitors to get a close look at these beautiful sharks. As they grow, we move some to other exhibits, until they may eventually wind up back in the Kelp Forest exhibit.
We might trade adult swells with other aquariums in return for other species. Some we release into Monterey Bay via a detour into the outdoor Great Tide Pool, where they delight young kids participating in our Underwater Explorers summer program.
The swell shark is named for its unique defense posture. If threatened, it curls into a sharp U-shape, grasps its tail (caudal fin) in its mouth and swallows a large quantity of sea water, swelling to twice its normal size. This behavior makes it difficult for a predator to bite or evict a swell shark from its hiding spot.
What’s it like to be a volunteer diver? This is as close as you can get without getting wet!
Is it a dance? An embrace? No one on staff had ever seen the likes of this recent exchange between a wolf eel and volunteer diver Mike Guardino in our Kelp Forest exhibit. Thanks to visitor Crystal McKenzie for the fantastic video!
What animals can you identify in our new live HD Kelp Cam? (Now including multiple views!) Let us know in the comments!
Mealtime can get pretty exciting in the Kelp Forest! We invite your creative caption!
People tell us they love these two huge exhibits, which supply diver’s-eye views of the ocean around us. Which is YOUR favorite?
There have been some strange things going on in our exhibits lately.
Been there? Our famed Kelp Forest exhibit is a world of wonder, perfectly expressed in this photo from visitor Olivia Bradbury Nelson.
Today’s fun fact for Shark Week: How many shark species can you see when you visit? We have hammerhead and sandbar sharks in the Open Sea; leopard sharks in our Kelp Forest, Aviary and Deep Reefs; horn and swell sharks in our Enchanted Kelp Forest touch pools. We have sevengills, spiny dogfish and angel sharks in Monterey Bay Habitats. In summer we’ve had a white shark in the Open Sea. We have guitarfish in the Aviary and skates and rays in many exhibits. Okay, which species is this?
Did you know that we give our giant sea bass freshwater baths? This keeps them free of “flukes”—small animals that adhere to the fish like ticks on a dog. The baths also allow us to measure and weigh the fish, and assess their health. Since the last check in November 2010, one bass in our Kelp Forest gained 5.3 pounds and 2.4 inches in length, and is now 45 pounds and 37 inches!